The Nacirema Revisited

14 Pages Posted: 9 Jan 2015

See all articles by Jeffrey Kahn

Jeffrey Kahn

Southern Methodist University - Dedman School of Law

Date Written: November 16, 2014


In 1956, anthropologist Horace Miner published the article for which he is best known, "Body Ritual among the Nacirema." This short but groundbreaking essay described personal rituals practiced by a fascinating but poorly understood people. Inspired by Miner's work and based on close-quarters field research, this essay revisits the strange world of the Nacirema. Two of the more "legal" features of their society are explored: (1) what might be termed the higher-order constitutional design of their society, and (2) the mechanisms of day-to-day maintenance of their social order.

Keywords: Nacirema, Miner, Rule of Law

Suggested Citation

Kahn, Jeffrey, The Nacirema Revisited (November 16, 2014). 67 SMU Law Rev. 807 (2014), SMU Dedman School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 167, Available at SSRN:

Jeffrey Kahn (Contact Author)

Southern Methodist University - Dedman School of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 750116
Dallas, TX 75275
United States
(214) 768-2792 (Phone)
(214) 768-4330 (Fax)


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